Herman Miller Inc. (MLHR) reported an 8.2% jump in earnings for the first quarter helped by broad-based sales growth and well-managed operating expenses. The top and bottom line came in above analysts’ expectations. The furniture maker also guided second-quarter earnings and revenue in line with the Street’s view. Following this, the stock rose more than 6% in the after hours.
Earnings for the quarter climbed 8.2% to $35.8 million or $0.60 per share. Excluding the impact of restructuring and impairment expenses as well as other special charges recognized, earnings increased 21% to $0.69 per share.
Net sales grew 7.6% to $624.6 million. New orders for the quarter was $630.6 million, up 6% from the previous year quarter.
Gross margin fell 140 basis points to 36% from last year. The company’s results were hurt by higher commodity and freight expenses as well as ongoing margin pressure within one of its Specialty businesses. The adoption of new revenue recognition standard at the beginning of fiscal 2019 too impacted the gross margins.
Looking ahead, the company expects net sales in the range of $635 million to $655 million and earnings in the range of $0.70 to $0.74 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Organic sales are anticipated to rise by 5%.
During mid-August, the company’s board of directors had elected Andi Owen to succeed Brian Walker as the next CEO, with effect from August 22, 2018. Owen serves on the boards of Taylor Morrison Home (TMHC), Goal Five, and First Place for Youth.
Shares of Herman Miller ended Wednesday’s regular trading session up 0.54% at $37.25 on the Nasdaq. The stock has fallen more than 6% so far this year, while it has risen more than 6% in the past year.
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